Match # 95: Ted DiBiase vs. Dick Murdoch (No DQ) (12/31/85)
These two are probably my two favorite workers on the whole set. The feud that was set up between them was a great angle, and the first match was good, but it wasn’t all that I was hoping for. This one better bring the hate these two have for one another in this feud. This one is No Disqualification.
Yes! Murdoch attacks with his great punches before the bell. He comes hard at Dibiase, who fires back and power slams the vet. Murdoch goes to the floor. This is from Oklahoma City, by the way.
Does anyone sell one punch better then Murdoch. He eats a shot and goes down, but gets Dibiase to chase him outside and take advantage. Again a minute later as they get in the ring. Murdoch takes advantage of tactical errors or positioning. He works Dibiase over strong style and Dibiase takes a great bump between the ropes. He bleeds on the outside after Murdoch beats him and crawls back in the ring. Again Murdoch takes advantage as Dibiase tries to get in the ring.
A little thing Murdoch is great at is glaring at and arguing with the ref while not near or at least touching his opponent. It’s a lot like basketball coaches who rave about a player’s movement without the ball and creating scoring opportunities. Murdoch creates an aura and atmosphere even without offensive moves at times just by haggling with the ref or allowing himself to be stopped from going to the outside. Murdoch does all the little things that make a match for me, and Dibiase here is selling so well.
This is the one time I’m happy Tommy Gilbert is so involved with Murdoch. The simple story continues as Dibiase gets a hope spot with a punch (Again it’s sold like Murdoch’s jaw can’t take Dibiase’s best shot), but he’s unable to capitalize on the opening. Murdoch makes him pay for the momentary shot with frustrated punches/kicks.
Clipping! That sucks. Dibiase had the advantage as they went to commercial (so it’s not an official cut) and Murdoch had bailed to the outside with Dibiase giving chase. We come back to Dibiase getting back in the ring still in control, so hopefully they cut 30 seconds on the outside.
Back inside Dibiase is biting and punching. He’s playing to the crowd, getting his revenge on a bloody Murdoch. Dibiase wins a punch battle with Murdoch selling perfectly and Dibiase stomps a mud hole in him well before Austin was even trained.
Dibiase was loading the glove when Murdoch got wise and high knees him out of the ring. Murdoch then takes Dibiase out with a slam on the concrete. Man on a mission, Murdoch uses a chair. He’s completely bloody. We go into a second heat segment and Murdoch pulls out a few spots from the first match. The guy knows how to maximize each move and pace himself well. It helps Dibiase’s selling his ass off. The deliberate pace and stares get the crowd hot and loud. Two count fails.
Murdoch lifts Dibiase up for the brain buster, but Dibiase wiggles through and blasts Murdoch with a perfect worked punch. Murdoch sells it like a legit solid blow and does a huge bump. Cover by Dibiase. 1-2-3. Dibiase wins sorta clean, but the punch was with the loaded glove at the end.
As much as I praised this, it was lacking some drama and about 8-10 minutes of good story. The comeback was really quick, but the beginning was very appropriate. Very good match, but not a great match. I’ll say slightly better than the first. Someone said if these two feuded over a decade or two it would be as good as Flair-Steamboat, and I think it’s one of a handful you’d find in the conversation. 3 ¼ and 6.4/10.